BC Ideas Exchange Story Library

Economic development success stories

Are you looking for economic development ideas and inspiration for your community? The BC Ideas Exchange showcases B.C. communities and their innovative approaches to economic development.

The best economic development practices are usually developed through community experience, lessons learned and innovation. B.C. communities, even on small budgets, are finding innovative ways to initiate and promote economic development in their communities.

The BC Ideas Exchange is a space for communities to share success stories and how they've addressed economic development challenges, and to discuss lessons learned and best practices.

Explore success stories by category and connect with communities:

Communities throughout B.C. are improving their skills, knowledge, tools and other resources to reach their economic goals. This section features stories to help you boost your community’s ability to develop strategies and plans, measure results, initiate and maintain collaboration, and access funding.

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate | Aug 29, 2018

Leveraging Co-operation and Business Investment to Power Economic Development – Cranbrook & Kimberley | Aug 10, 2018

Multi-Channel Ad Campaign Uses Data Insights to Attract New Residents and Businesses – Lower Columbia Region | Dec 22, 2017

Grassroots Economic Development Benefits Island Municipality – Bowen Island | Jan 10, 2017

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island |  Nov 23, 2016

​Community Economic Development is an inclusive process improving outcomes for the whole community, and equity-seeking groups in particular. In this section, you can learn about community-owned initiatives that are stabilizing local economies, creating long-term employment, and delivering positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake | Nov 22, 2018

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii | May 17, 2018

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu | May 3, 2018

Regional Partnership Creates Value-Added Food Products and Local Jobs – Creston Valley | Dec 29, 2017

Transforming a Mining Town into a Solar Energy Destination – Kimberley | Dec 8, 2017

Community Collaboration Brings Back Health Care – Scotch Creek | Feb 3, 2017

Creating Jobs and New Revenue Streams with a Community Forest License – Barriere | Feb 3, 2017

Protecting an Old-Growth Ecoforest through Community Organization – Vancouver Island | Feb 2, 2017

Land use planning and developing community assets like recreation facilities or transportation networks can create or enhance the economic opportunities for a community. In this section, discover inspiring examples of development throughout B.C. and find out about resources to support land and amenity development.

A High-Tech Factory Brings Back Jobs to a Community on the Site of a Former Mill - Canal Flats | Aug 15, 2019

Cannabis Leads a Town’s Economic Revitalization – Smiths Falls, ON | Jan 17, 2019

Attracting Development of Brownfield Sites through a Multi-Faceted Strategy – Langley City | July 26, 2018

Targeted Revitalization through Economic Investment Zones – Penticton | June 28, 2018

Creating Opportunity for Small Business through Zoning and Permitting – Port Moody | June 1, 2018

Landowners and Volunteers Work Together to Manage Community Trail Network  – Cumberland | Feb 9, 2018

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace | Dec 15, 2017

Students' Study of Local Airport Leads to New Land Development Potential – Township of Langley | Dec 8, 2017

Community-Led Park Development Project Creates Jobs and Attracts Visitors to Elk Falls – Campbell River | Oct 12, 2016

Indigenous organizations are advancing the economic self-determination and success of Indigenous people throughout B.C. with a range of strategies. In this section, you can see how First Nations and Indigenous communities are moving forward through ingenuity and collaboration.

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake | Nov 22, 2018

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate | Aug 29, 2018

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C. |  June 15, 2018

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii |  May 17, 2018

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu | May 3, 2018 ​

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation | April 25, 2018

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace | Dec 15, 2017

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island | Nov 23, 2016

Local economic development calls for savvy promotion through investment attraction, tourism marketing, and resident attraction and retention. In this section, you can learn from other communities and enhance your own toolkit for promoting your community for economic development.

Destination Marketing Organization Uses Targeted Videos to Attract Tourists – Gold Country | Mar 22, 2019

Love Northern BC Celebrates Local Entrepreneurs – Northern BC | Feb 13, 2019

Selling a Small-Town Lifestyle to Attract Entrepreneurs and Investment – Powell River | Nov 30, 2018

Attracting Young Urban Creatives to Small Town B.C.  – Kaslo | Oct 18, 2018

“Island Good” Makes It Easy for Islanders to Shop Local – Vancouver Island | Oct 5, 2018

Attracting Key Forestry Investors with Targeted Promotional Materials – District of Stewart | Dec 8, 2017

Business Attraction Video Highlights Local Value Proposition and Draws Investors – Township of Langley |  Dec 8, 2016

Cross-Sector Partnership Builds a New Info Centre that Attracts Visitors and Investors Alike – Revelstoke | Nov 25, 2016

Social Media Buzz Leads to Greater Community Awareness and Engagement – Kamloops | Oct 12, 2016

A vital and robust local economy needs a dynamic and growing business sector. In this section, you can see examples and learn more about supporting existing businesses to improve conditions for success, while growing the next generation of businesses through entrepreneurship.

How a Chamber of Commerce Pivoted Toward Economic Development – Ucluelet | Nov 2, 2018

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C. | June 15, 2018

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation | Apr 25, 2018

Agri-Tourism Program Gives Farmers Access to New Revenue Streams – Central Okanagan | Aug 10, 2017

Business Walks Open Dialogue Between Local Stakeholders – Abbotsford | Sept 29, 2016 ​

Venture Kamloops Advisor Program Prepares Entrepreneurs with a Mini "Dragon's Den" – Kamloops | Sept 29, 2016

Technology as an industry sector is growing in B.C., while innovative uses of technology are invigorating existing industries to support economic sustainability. This section looks at how technology and innovation are transforming local economies and supporting community well-being.

Innovation Centre Supporting Home Grown Tech – Salmon Arm | May 23, 2019

Building a Tech Strategy with a Committed Local Task Force – Revelstoke | Dec 12, 2018

A Winning Municipal Tech Strategy: From Broadband to International Recognition as a Smart Community – Nelson | Apr 6, 2018

Diversifying the Local Economy Starting with a Municipally-Owned Broadband Network – Campbell River | Mar 1, 2018

Metal Tech Alley: How an Industry Town in Rural B.C. Rebuilt its Economy – Trail | Dec 15, 2017

Communities throughout B.C. are using a wide range of strategies to help companies meet their workforce needs. In this section, see how Industry and education partnerships, skills development, immigration programs, and increasing access to jobs for workers who face barriers are developing B.C.’s workforce.

Planning for the Workforce of Tomorrow through Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships – Surrey | Apr 18, 2019

Overcoming Disabilities and Mental Health Challenges to Attain Satisfying Employment – Victoria | Dec 19, 2018

How Go-Karts Improve Education Outcomes and Build Community – Tumbler Ridge | Sept 25, 2018

Workforce Development Partnership Reaching New Heights – Kelowna | July 12, 2018

Building a Competitive Local Film Industry through Workforce Training – North Central Vancouver Island | Mar 26, 2018

Growing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in Rural B.C. – Nechako Lakes | Jan 26, 2018

The Whistler Experience Optimizes Training for World-Class Customer Service – Whistler | Jan 5, 2017

Investing in Personalized Health Professional Attraction Pays Off – Quesnel | Dec 8, 2016

Attracting Digital Talent From Across Canada with the "Make It Here" Campaign – Kelowna | Sept 29, 2016